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A Case for Writing by Hand

Can you imagine trying to make it through university without being able to write by hand to take notes? I sure can’t. I thought administrators in education might’ve been going too far with suggesting cursive should be removed from formal education. However, the possible removal of an emphasis on handwriting seems ridiculous. I doubt I’m alone in saying this, but I always find that I learn material better after I’ve written it out by hand. Handwriting shouldn’t become a “lost art” known to the few who pursue it. It almost makes me think of the not-so-recent past where people didn’t learn how to write and paid others to write for them. That should not become the norm again. Writing has been the best tool for my education and mental health. Without the ability to write (and write clearly at that), I don’t think I would have done as well in my time at school.

Also, what of writing in journals? Blogging is one thing, but I don’t think it does the same thing for me as writing in a journal. Personally, I write in a journal to catalog my life experiences (many of them too personal for the internet), and I don’t believe it would provide the same mental relief for me if I were to type out my entries.

There is nothing more stress-relieving for me than writing in my journal.
There is nothing more stress-relieving for me than writing in my journal.

Here are some things I find rewarding and useful about writing by hand:

  1. The accomplishment of filling a notebook or journal (I wrote my first book in eighth grade by hand in notebooks).
  2. Similarly, I can see the physical amount of the pages I’ve written and the notes I’ve taken.
  3. It helps me remember the material of which I write (I memorize lines for plays much easier after I write them out by hand).
  4. It can look pretty, and I can feel accomplished about its aesthetic appearance.
  5. My notes and journals aren’t at risk of deletion by way of computer or internet (though I will admit fires and water damage come close).
  6. Notebooks and diaries can be passed down, which can be special moments.
  7. I feel much more relieved after ranting through handwriting than I do when typing or texting my feelings.

Of course, these are just my feelings on the benefits of handwriting. There are probably many more that have a much more scientific basis. Regardless, as someone who frequently chooses handwriting over typing, I feel that a loss of an emphasis on handwriting would be a loss to future generations.

“Man builds no structure that outlives a book” — Carl Elliot

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